A new distribution agreement is poised to deliver China-made facial recognition technology to the United States.
The technology is made by Weibridge, a Shanghai-based firm, which has agreed to license its biometric technology to Advanced Technology Group, a division of Universal Power Industry Corporate (UPIC). In the US, Advanced Technology Group will promote Weibridge’s facial recognition technology “to city, state and federal agencies as well as the private sector, with an emphasis toward the financial (banks) industry and transportation sector.”
The focus on the government sector entails some risk, given the controversies that have emerged this year over police use of facial recognition in public in the US – all the more so given that the technology is being sourced from China, where exactly the kind of surveillance state that Western rights advocates fear is already in place, thanks in part to the rise of sophisticated facial recognition technology. But there is also an undeniable appetite for facial recognition technology among government agencies in the US, primarily for border control and policing, but also with some curiosity about smart city applications.
In a statement announcing the distribution agreement, a UPIC VP identified as “Mr. Chiu” commented, “The company envisions facial recognition technology will become a security standard.” The company’s management comprises two individuals, President and Director Rex Chiu and Secretary, Treasurer, and Director Tony Chiu, according to a MarketScreener listing; and UPIC described itself as a holding company specializing in the import of apparel and auto parts, technology, and real estate in a media release from earlier this year.
Terms of the reseller agreement with Weibridge were not disclosed.
August 31, 2018 – by Alex Perala